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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Roundtable on sustainable agriculture: Recommendations from West African farmers

Farmers and agricultural producers from West African, in collaboration with the European Commission, the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA), and SOS Faim participated in a Roundtable conference on "Sustainable Agriculture as a means to increase resilience: the vision of West African farmers and producers" last Thursday, June 13, in Brussels.
The debate aimed to bring into discussion the experiences and recommendations of the farmers' organizations from the region, and will feed into the design of the national roadmaps for the implementation of the EU-led Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR).
The initiative - launched in December 2012 – is a long term strategy for building resilience in Sahel, in response to the chronic food insecurity in the region.

The representatives of the farmers' organizations presented several initiatives and experiences in sustainable intensification of production in Senegal, Niger and Burkina Faso, aspects of rice marketing in Benin and Gambia, along with examples of financing in Togo and Mali.

Moreover, the meeting brought about several recommendations for the AGIR initiative:
•    Using the  agricultural policy developed by ECOWAS (Economic  Community Of West African States) –  the ECOWAP -, as well as the agricultural policy of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as the cornerstone of all activities meant to sustainably increase agricultural production in the region.
•    Supporting  family farming at regional and national level to be made the focal point of the next European Developemnt Fund (EDF) - corresponding to the period 2014-2020.
•    Reinforcing the support – with resources from the next EDF -  for the National Indicative Programmes and the Regional Indicative Programme, which are to be designed as part of the AGIR initiative. This is to be made on the basis of three key intervention areas:
i) strengthening the integration of national and regional markets, by taking into account risks such as climate change and price volatility;
ii) financing of the agricultural sector with the development of innovative and sustainable financing instruments tailored to the needs of the family farm;
iii) strengthening the capacity of farmers' organizations to support the modernization of family farms.  


Source: CTA Brussels